Cobb Salad with a Tangy Oil Free Garlic-Mustard Vinaigrette

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You may have noticed the onslaught of new delectable recipes up over the past month.  Classes didn’t start again until last week so I have had a little more time to putter around in the kitchen.  It has been fun, but now I am back in full swing of grad school madness so the numbers may dwindle in the coming weeks.

On Thursday nights my classes don’t start until late, so my truly wonderful friend Vanessa came over for dinner to help me kill some time.  I kept it simple with this filling, substantial salad that is packed with just the right proteins and nutrition that your brain needs to sit through two hour evening courses. The best part is that it is simple to accommodate all dietary restraints and still leave your diners happy.  Vegan? Skip the meat, egg and cheese and the yams and avocado still taste divine.  Vegetarian? forgo the meat and the resulting salad will leave you just as satisfied.   Strict Paleo? set aside the cheese and yams and what you have left is more or less pure protein for your carnivorous needs.

So however you elect to eat-enjoy. Continue reading “Cobb Salad with a Tangy Oil Free Garlic-Mustard Vinaigrette”

Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup

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When Jay and I started planning our move to the states the first query from friends and family was about healthcare.  As in how were we going to tackle the starkly different system.  After our voyage home for the holidays, the plane ride left me with a burst blood vessel which turned into a painful but run of the mill ear infection that landed us in an NYC emerge late last Thursday night.  Now I should preface my detailing of our first healthcare encounter with that Jay and I are crazy fortunate to have spectacular health coverage through his company, which makes all the difference.

photoThe hospital and doctors were of similar quality to back home.  As far as atmosphere goes it was nice to have a private room to wait in rather than a curtained off quadrant of  bustling emergency department.  We did note a shorter wait time and an extra level of thoughtfulness on part of the  staff as they spent a touch more time with us that we have been used to.   To cement this feeling of extreme attention to care we even got a call the next day from Columbia health to check on us because the hospital had taken the time to call them to inform them one of their students was in the evening prior. However, the true free nature of the Canadian system is hard to beat, and the fact that it is universally free for every member of our society is not only wonderful but admirable.  The real concerns come for Americans who don’t have access to health care and can’t afford private coverage, which I think is where the heart of the debate truly lies.

At the end of the day the hospital in our neighborhood was great and we left well cared for.  Besides, the hospital even had a twitter account and they favorited my lobby room waiting tweet. So the way I see it is that is winning no matter how you swing it.

As for now, I am on the mend but Jay has picked up the flu complete with fever and chills. So in our household we are waiting out this snow storm by taking the time to nurture ourselves back to health by with a good books, a stream of Frasier episodes, hot baths and nutritious eats.  This is a healthy twist of a classic get well soon chicken soup.  If you are vegan or vegetarian you can simple skip the chicken and it will remaining equally as scrumptious and nutritious.  This is a hearty, savory filling meal that is perfect for a cold winters day or any time that you are feeling a little under the weather.  Enjoy. Continue reading “Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup”

Creamy Coconut, Sweet Potato and Avocado Soup

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Everyone in this city is fascinated with juicing (not the performance enhancing drugs), and we are frequently asked if we partake in such pleasures.  I  have a smoothie each morning for breakfast but I don’t think that would constitute me a juicer.  What we do in fact do though is make everything from scratch.  Be is hummus or salsa to pasta sauce or soup, we whip it without using extra sugars, oils or any manufactured additives and preservatives.  We eat whole foods, and make most of our meals in house so we don’t do anything to supplement our nutritional needs in terms of different diets and cleanses.  Tonight’s soup is one such example of this philosophy, which I shared with my lovely friend Madeline, as we caught up on the coming semester and our time over the holidays. So if you want a nutrient rich, hearty, veggie laden meal that is as tasty as it is healthy this would be the soup for you. Enjoy 🙂 Continue reading “Creamy Coconut, Sweet Potato and Avocado Soup”

Homemade Chipotle Bowl

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One of our favorite things about America is Chipotle (yes fellow Canadians I know Vancouver got one right after we left).  When we were in Texas for one of Jay’s closest friend’s weddings he introduced us to it’s sheer awesomeness.  We experienced our first encounter with another dear friend, Tang,  who is nothing short of a force to be reckoned with in terms of lifting heavy weight and eating.  As such, Tang polished off two entire Chipotle bowls in that one first sitting.  If that isn’t something short of amazing and a testament to the greatness that is Chipotle than I don’t know what is.

My inspiration stemmed after I had stumbled across a few recipes for a DIY bowl on Pinterest but none of them seemed to stack up (one was a cold version which just didn’t cut it for me).  So I decided to try my hand at a recreation myself, and the results were spectacular.  The thing about Chipotle is everyone’s bowl will taste different depending on what they choose, so I based my creation on a combination of my normal order and Jay’s.  So here is our take on a healthier, cheaper and you can get it in your pajamas version of the coveted Chipotle bowl.   Continue reading “Homemade Chipotle Bowl”

Christmas Past: Hosting in an intimate setting

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A little throwback to a Christmas past.  Last season, an old friend of Jay’s was in town with a beautiful new girlfriend at his side so we hosted a little get together so we could meet her and eat our fill of scrumptious holiday foods.  At the time we were waiting to move into our new house and were renting a great, little basement suite but that left space was at a premium.  However, our lack of large dinner tables nor our quaint dwellings didn’t daunt of festive decor or vast spread of eats.  Below I have detailed our menu for the event, as well as my meal prep tips for small space hosting.  So here is a little inspiration for hosting the masses no matter how grand a place you call home.

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Continue reading “Christmas Past: Hosting in an intimate setting”

Sweet Butternut Squash Soup

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It’s fall in the city, and it is chilly outside. So inside we Jordan’s are keeping it warm and cozy.  Butternut Squash soup my favorite soup, and one of the best ways to stay toasty.  For the longest time I never attempted it on my own because I had written it off as too complex and time consumptive.  My mom also makes a killer butternut soup, that even still mine can’t hold a candle to.  Although maybe that is just the sentimentality inside me speaking since I tend to whip up this soup on the days I miss her a little more than usual.  Nonetheless, this soup isn’t complicated and is actually pretty efficient to make.  A quick chop, boil and purée and you are set to serve.   Enjoy. Continue reading “Sweet Butternut Squash Soup”

Curried Coconut, Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup

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Midterms have done an abundance for my culinary creativity.  Instead of pouring over the books I have been brainstorming new recipes, and when that doesn’t suffice to distract me from what I should be doing I decide to test drive them in my kitchen.  I have pleaded with Jay to keep me on track and dispel my procrastinating tendencies.  He has been no help. He even went so far as to tell me that I didn’t know what the word meant because I had started studying 3 weeks prior for my exams.  He did however sit down to quiz me, and then left me to my own devices to attempt a new soup.  Perhaps I should be weary of the directional pull of his encouragement seeing as he reaps the rewards of my culinary pursuits in spades, but doesn’t shoulder the burden if I go into my tests unprepared.  However, I am feeling good about the scholastic content and I am sure the nourishment from this thick, hearty soup will carry me the rest of the way.  This rich, savory soup is as flavorful as it is healthy. Enjoy 🙂

Continue reading “Curried Coconut, Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup”

Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese Pizza

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Well midterms have started, and as such my diet has succumb to diners of ease and a few too many carbs.  Tonight I decided my body needed some real fuel to tackle the coming week, and my mind was in desperate need of a distraction from the books.  So I decided to try my hand at a little culinary creativity and to devise our own, nutrient rich version of pizza.  We loved it, although sadly it was sufficiently efficient to concoct so it wasn’t the time killer, procrastinating activity I was craving. So as such I am back at it, so wish me luck this week. I think I will need it. Continue reading “Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese Pizza”

Personal Pita Pizzas

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Well I had been told that graduate school would be busy, but a my friend, Pat, reminded me I have always been a little on the over programed side so shouldn’t fret and that I would be up for the challenge.  And I am, but that still does not change the daunting fact that I have a to do list the size of the Empire state building, a job to find and new content to absorb, digest and synthesize at an alarming rate which leaves very little time for daily life activities -like sleeping  cooking.  On Wednesdays I have a fascinating course in Educational Assessment that is proceeded by a lab in the Dean Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services which takes me from 5 until 9.  Anyone who knows me intimately is aware that I could be the reigning Queen of any establishment offering the early bird special.  So this lands my course right in the middle of my allocated prime dinner time slot.  So I have had to be creative and eat prior to class and ensure I opt for something substantial because I can’t be snacking away as I administer tests.  So tonight I went for one of our tried and true quick meals that I had published in Canadian Living and can still be found online here -Personal Pita Pizzas.  I say personal because if your household looks anything like ours no one likes or will eat the same things.  This recipe allows everyone in your home to swap out or in ingredients to suit their palates and dietary preferences. Tonight I did them a little differently than the recipe you will find in Canadian Living  and the result was just a marvelous (better actually in my humble opinion) and had the added bonus of allowing me time to finish my last chapter of reading while they baked. That is a true culinary and academic success colliding in my books.

Continue reading “Personal Pita Pizzas”

16 hours in Portland

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Well, after deferring for a year and 18 months of planning later Jay and I are off to Manhattan to tackle bustle of the big city, the challenges of being a Columbia University grad student and this big American life.

The past few weeks have been a mix of extreme, uncontrollable excitement at the new adventure and the fulfillment of a number of dreams we thought were too big to even dream, as well as a healthy dose of nerves, heart aching goodbyes and a plethora of shed tears.  Through it all we have been so overwhelmed and awed by the outpouring of love from our family and friends.  The ceaseless show of support and encouragement has left us with such a sense of thankfulness that I don’t think we will ever be able to fully express.

So after a chaotic few weeks of last minute planning, we left our cozy, west coast island town of Victoria and arrived in Portland Oregon the same evening.  We only have a limited amount of time, and a lot on our PDX to do list before we set out to Idaho the very next morning.  So this is the highlights of our time and our top to do list of things to do and see if you only have brief moments to explore the Portland Area: Continue reading “16 hours in Portland”